Series 23671
Washington County (Utah). County Recorder Mining proof of labor

Dates: 1897-1956.

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These records are housed in the Utah State Archives' permanent storage room.

Historical Note

An agency history is available.

Scope and Content

Federal mining law enacted in 1872 provided that all valuable mineral deposits in the public domain were free and open to exploration and purchase and that the locators of the same were to have exclusive right of possession as long as they complied with the laws of the United States and of the local mining district. The law authorized the democratic organization of local mining districts and charged them to record mining claims and manage mining operations in accordance with Federal law and local needs and customs. Final ownership of a mining claim involved more than discovery, possession and recording, but also required that the claimant work the ground and perform labor on the claim as required by Congress and the regulations of local mining districts. (Statutes at Large, Treaties, one hundred dollars worth of labor be performed or improvement made during each year.

The primary documents in this series are affidavits offering proof that the requisite labor had been performed. In certain years Congress legislated exceptions to this labor requirement. For example, in 1917 Congress passed a joint resolution to suspend the requirement of annual assessment work on mining claims during the years 1917 and 1918. (Statutes at Large, Treaties, and Proclamations, of the United States of America, vol. XL, chap. 75). However, the law required that in order to obtain the benefits of this resolution, every claimant must file a notice of his desire to hold his claim. Other exceptions to the labor requirement were passed in 1933, 1934, 1937, and 1943-1944. In accordance with these, the documents in this series include notices of intent to hold a claim in addition to documents showing proof of labor.


Chronological by date recorded.

Related Records

Official records from Washington County (Utah). County Recorder, Series 7067, document proof of labor after 1956.

Abstracts (sectional land) from Washington County (Utah). County Recorder, Series 16432, chronologically document all activity relating to specific land.

Deeds (Silver Reef) from Washington County (Utah). County Recorder, Series 23263, contain proof of labor in Washington County mines after 1897.

Mining deeds from Washington County (Utah). County Recorder, Series 23669, contain deeds, leases, mineral certificates and other documents relating to mining claims.

Mining records from Harrisburg Mining District (Utah). Recorder, Series 23675, contain early proof of labor for mines in the Harrisburg Mining District.

Mining notices of location from Washington County (Utah). County Recorder, Series 81372, contain the original claims to oil and mining rights.

Grantee indexes from Washington County (Utah). County Recorder, Series 82703, reference mining proof of labor by name of claimant.

Grantor indexes from Washington County (Utah). County Recorder, Series 82704, reference mining proof of labor by name of claim.

Access Restrictions

This series is classified as Public.

Preferred Citation

Cite the Utah State Archives and Records Service, the creating agency name, the series title, and the series number.

Processing Note

Washington County mining records were microfilmed in April 1983 by Utah State Archives and processed by Rosemary Cundiff in May 2001.

Finding Aids

Indexes: Indexes are included either at the beginning or end of each book. Indexes for Books XX, X 13, and X 16 provide reference by the name of the mine or claim only. Indexes for Books X 20, X 20 A, and X 23 provide reference by both the names of mines and names of claimants.

Indexing Terms

  • Mines and mineral resources--Property--Washington County (Utah).
  • Mining claims--Washington County (Utah).

Container List

1 1897 Dec-1918 May; Mining Book XX
1 1918 Mar-1925 Jul; Mining Book X 13
1 1925 Jul-1937 Aug; Mining Book X 16
2 1937 Oct-1948 Jun; Mining Book X 20
2 1948 Jun-1948 Jul; Mining Book X 20 A
2 1949 Jan-1956 Jul; Mining Book X 23

Page Last Updated October 18, 2012.